May 9 (Reuters) - SpaceX will launch the “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon” in the first quarter of next year, with Elon Musk’s commercial rocket company accepting the meme-inspired cryptocurrency dogecoin as payment.
"SpaceX launching satellite Doge-1 to the moon next year – Mission paid for in Doge – 1st crypto in space – 1st meme in space", Musk said in a tweet.
Geometric Energy Corporation announced the dogecoin-funded mission earlier on Sunday, with the statement not disclosing the mission's financial value.
"This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce", SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero was quoted as saying in the statement released by Geometric Energy.
Musk said on Twitter in April that SpaceX was going to put a "literal Dogecoin on the literal moon".
Dogecoin lost more than a third of its price on Sunday, after Musk called it a ‘hustle’ during his guest-host spot on the “Saturday Night Live” comedy sketch TV show.
Musk’s tweets this year turned the once-obscure digital currency, which began as a social media joke, into a speculator’s dream.
On crypto data tracker CoinGecko.com, dogecoin has jumped more than 800% over the last month and is now the fourth-largest digital currency, with a market capitalization of $73 billion. It hit a record high Thursday above $0.73.
Electric carmaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), where Musk is CEO, said in February it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would soon accept it as a form of payment for its electric cars, a large stride toward mainstream acceptance that sent bitcoin soaring to a record high of nearly $62,000.
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